Farmers rail against delay in paddy procurement

Malkangiri: Opposing delay in paddy procurement at different mandis in Malkangiri district, members of the Zilla Adivasi Mahasangh today hit the streets and staged road blockades by placing paddy sacks near ten different mandis across the district.

As per the allegations of the Mahasangh, despite tough weather conditions, the farmers have been waiting for millers to procure paddy at mandis. But with the delay, the resentment also grew stronger over the past few days.

Earlier, the farmers had also staged demonstration over the issue following which the district administration stated that it would look into the matter. As the issue was not resolved, the Zilla Adivasi Mahasangh was forced to stage demonstration again today, they alleged.

“Despite repeated appeals before the administration, no one has paid any heed to it. Though the government stated new millers will purchase paddy, we have been waiting for the past 20 days for the procurement,” said Ghanu Muduli, a farmer.

Officials of the district administration and millers are not paying any heed to the request for early procurement, rued another farmer.

Meanwhile, road traffic has been affected across the district due to the agitation. Though the officials of the district administration tried to pacify the agitators, the farmers stated they would not withdraw the strike until their demands are met.

Similarly, farmers of Kaimati have also blocked roads near Beltikri of Dhenkanal district alleging delay in the paddy purchase by millers. They stated that millers and cooperative secretaries have joined hands and putting farmers in trouble.